Security detail for any president is sure to cost a fortune — but the bill racked up by the Trump Secret Service keeps getting bigger.
Trump Secret Service protection extends to all of the Trump children. This includes, as Snopes explains, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, “whose security costs while traveling are borne by American taxpayers even though they don’t work for the administration, instead running their father’s international business holdings.” (Though Donald Jr. ditched the Trump Secret Service for one week last fall to seek more privacy.)
In a single month last year, Donald Jr. and Eric racked up nearly $250,000 in Secret Service protection during two business trips overseas, reports watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). The group, according to its website, uses “aggressive legal action, in-depth research and bold communications to reduce the influence of money in politics and help foster a government that is ethical and accountable.”
CREW received Secret Service documents through “Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests” and said in a statement that the costs, “shed light on how much taxpayers are paying for trips taken by the heads of the president’s private business empire.”
BREAKING: We got the Secret Service costs for Eric and Don Jr.’s overseas business trips. Taxpayers were on the hook for about $250,000 in a single month! https://t.co/sgErZ1bO26
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) July 18, 2018
But why did those two business trips — over the span of just one month — cost almost a quarter of a million dollars?
CREW’s statement on Trump Secret Service
Eric and Donald Jr. flew to Dubai in February 2017 to open the Trump International Golf Club. The Trump Secret Service costs, according to documents obtained by CREW, are as follows:
“On the Dubai trip, the Secret Service paid more than $200,000, including about $125,000 for airfare, $75,000 for hotel rooms and more than $15,000 for ‘other’ expenses including cell phones, car service and other transportation. The business trip cost taxpayers significantly more than the $73,000 in Secret Service cost for a 2018 trip to Dubai for the Trump sons to attend the wedding of the daughter of a business partner.”
CREW also discloses that Eric traveled to the Dominican Republic that same month on another business venture with the Trump Secret Service, which cost about $20,000.
“When compared to the bill taxpayers were stuck with from Dubai, the Dominican Republic was a bargain,” CREW said in a statement.
The group obtained spending reports for the Trump brothers’ trips to Vancouver and Uruguay in April 2017 as well.
“While some of the costs of these trips have already been made public, including $15,000 spent at a Trump-branded property, the documents—which give a fuller picture of costs—have not,” CREW said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, spoke to CBS News in April 2017 after another costly trip for Eric and the Trump Secret Service to the U.K. and Ireland.
“The Trump family’s frequent travel to international destinations purely to promote the Trump family business is burning through taxpayer dollars at an unprecedented rate,” he said, “and stretching the Secret Service increasingly thin.”